This French Toast does bake up beautifully in the 40 minutes the recipe recommends. Set your oven to automatically come on so it can be preheated and ready to go if you'll be at Easter services before the brunch.
1 loaf French bread (about a pound)
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk until blended. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Remove foil about half way through baking. Serve with maple syrup.